Adapted from Worlds of Wonder Art Gallery | www.wow-art.com
Dave Pether was a British illustrator known to video game fans for his packaging art for Psygnosis games. He contributed to many book covers and magazines as well as television shows and movies.
Dave was born in Southall, a large suburban town in West London, England, where he lived and worked his whole life. He went to Twickenham Tech Art College and contributed to the well-known OZ magazine, an independently published alternative/underground magazine associated with the international counterculture of the 1960s. He was also a musician, and his band The Muleskinners were part of the early 1960s art school R&B scene.
Though a Motorbike accident cut short his musical career, after college he worked in an animation studio and then joined Young Artists Agency and John Spencer before setting up his own illustration company “Dave Pether Illustration” in the 1970s. He met his wife Helen while working in the animation studio; they married in 1981 and had two children, Sophie and Tom.
Dave was versatile and worked in a number of different genres, including science fiction, fantasy, war/military, history, and romance. He also did a number of commercial art projects, including album covers, food packaging designs, marketing for pharmaceutical companies, and product development for toys.
In the 1980s, Dave moved into television and film work. He did many paintings used in titles and advertising breaks for films shown on London Weekend Television (LWT). He also produced storyboards and character designs for companies developing projects for film and TV. Dave also worked on a couple of British sports campaigns during the 1980s: he produced limited edition sports prints for the British Olympics campaign for the 1980 Moscow Games and designed a series of stamps planned to be issued for the Mexico 1986 World Cup.
In the 1990s, Dave started teaching art at Brunel University, located in the Uxbridge area of London, England. He loved teaching and worked there for 12 years. During this time he also moved into doing video game illustration. From as early as 1993, Dave worked closely with British video game developer and publisher Psygnosis, illustrating box art for a small handful of titles. Among his work for Psygnosis, Dave’s name is connected to multiple games in the Lemmings series.
OVGA has included below David Pether’s full known box art catalog:
- Oh No! More Lemmings (Psygnosis | Amiga, Atari ST, DOS | 1991) attributed
- Oh No! More Lemmings (Psygnosis | Macintosh | 1992) different art for Mac release; attributed
- Lemmings for the Mac a.k.a. Lemmings (Psygnosis | Macintosh | 1992) different art for Mac release of the first game; attributed
- Puggsy (Psygnosis | Amiga, Genesis, Sega CD | 1993)
- Wiz ‘n’ Liz (Psygnosis | Amiga, Genesis | 1993)
- Lemmings 2: The Tribes (Psygnosis | Amiga, Atari ST, DOS, Game Boy, Genesis, SNES | 1993) confirmed by Dave's family
- The Lemmings Chronicles a.k.a. All New World of Lemmings a.k.a. Lemmings 3 (Psygnosis | Amiga, DOS | 1994)
Dave is additionally credited for package design for Lemmings 3D (DOS, PlayStation, Saturn), though the published image appears digitally rendered and is not representative of Dave’s illustration style. His involvement may have been more on character design and development.
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